Microsoft has announced that its newest tablet, the Surface 2 will be available with 4G high-speed mobile connectivity from 8th May 2014. The 4G tablet can already be pre-ordered from the Microsoft online store. The Surface 2 4G is priced at £539, £100 more than the wi-fi only version of the Surface 2, which was released in October last year.
The 4G connectivity is currently limited to the consumer-focussed Windows RT edition of the Surface 2, which is a shame for those that hoped to see Surface Pro with 4G, an ideal setup for remote working. For the time being Microsoft are only releasing the 64GB version of the tablet with 4G; it remains to be seen whether they will launch a 4G version of the 128GB tablet at a later date.
The Microsoft Surface 2 is a thin, lightweight tablet, with up to 10 hours battery life, which is pre-loaded with Office 2013 RT including Outlook. To use the 4G version in any location with 4G mobile coverage, all you need to do is insert a pre-paid 4G sim card into the Micro-SIM slot. 4G sim-only deals are available from EE, O2, Vodafone, and Three, as well as MVNOs such as Tesco Mobile. Just check first that you have network coverage in your area.
Other features of the Surface 2 4G include:
- Sharp display with optically bonded ClearType HD technology and auto-adjusting screen intensity. The wide viewing angle is ideal for watching 1080p HD video, essential for a 4G tablet.
- Multiple ports including a video out port, a full-size USB 3.0 port, Bluetooth 4.0, and a microSDXC card reader that allows you add up to 64GB of extra storage.
- Built-in Kickstand with fantastic support which has two positions so you can view the screen just as well sitting at a desk as you can when it’s on your lap.
- High speed processor in the NVIDIA Tegra 4, which make the Surface 2 4G one of the fastest tablets on the market. OneDrive2 storage of up to 200GB included for 2 years so you can keep your photos and videos accessible at all times.
- Dual cameras including a 3.5 megapixel front facing camera and a 5 megapixel rear facing camera, for crisp clear images. Both cameras record video in stunning 1080p quality.
According to Panos Panay, Vice President of Surface at Microsoft, “We improved the performance on this product by 20 per cent, if you thought it was fast before it is lightning fast now.”
Microsoft will certainly be hoping for success with all the second generation versions of the Surface, as the company continues to find its feet in the tablet market. The original Surface RT and Surface Pro devices got mixed response from businesses and consumers alike, and it is thought that Microsoft took a $900m hit on the first generation tablets. However, things do look more positive since the release of the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro, and with the new 4G version appealing to those who want to use their tablets on the move, Microsoft appears to be heading in the right direction.